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Discover Azores


The archipelago of the Azores consists of nine islands divided into three groups: Western Group (Corvo and Flores); Central Group (Faial, Graciosa, Pico, São Jorge, and Terceira); Eastern Group (Santa Maria and São Miguel). As a tourist destination, it is especially dedicated to nature tourism with outdoor activities, such as hiking, diving, whale watching, among others.

Here you can find unspoiled nature, with breathtaking landscapes, incredible lagoons, extinct volcanic craters, hot water waterfalls, fumaroles, and much more!

The genesis of the Azores is found upon 1766 volcanoes, nine of which are still active. Underground, almost three hundred volcanic cavities, including caves, ravines and cracks, have been surveyed. The landscape is filled with dry calderas, craters lakes, fumaroles and thermal water springs. In the sea, there are submarine geothermal springs. The mountain of Pico, majestic and with an intact cone, appears to be protecting all this geological wealth. The volcanism of the archipelago impresses for its diversity and creates its own magnetism. It is a witness to the power of Nature, and the basis for very special experiences.


Azores Geopark

The Azores Geopark joined the European Network and Global Geoparks Network in March 2013 under the sponsorship of UNESCO. This integration aims to promote and protect the geological heritage of the archipelago, whilst promoting the sustainable development of the Azores’ environmental, cultural and socio-economic level,which is strongly grounded in Geotourism. The appreciation of geo-diversity, the richness of its natural heritage and scientific, tourist and educational advancement of the Azores’ geosites are essential pillars of this initiative.

Interpretation Centres

All the volcanic caves that are open to the public have an interpretation centre, offering detailed information on the place to be explored. In order to better understand the geo-heritage of the Azores, a visit to the various science centres located on the islands is also advised. The modern (Centro de Interpretação do Vulcão dos Capelinhos) Interpretation Centre of the Capelinhos Volcano, on Faial Island, offers a very attractive interpretative tour that includes films, holograms and multimedia contents. Other locations that offer further knowledge on the volcanic phenomena of the archipelago include observatories and museums, such as the Observatório do Mar (Sea Observatory) on Faial Island, the Observatório do Ambiente (Environment Observatory) and the Museu Vulcanoespeleológico Os Montanheiros (Os Montanheiros Volcanic and Speleological Museum) on Terceira Island, the Casa da Montanha (Mountain Cabin) and the Solar do Lajido (Lajido Manor House) on Pico Island, and the Observatório Astronómico (Astronomical Observatory), the ExpoLAB and the Observatório Vulcanológico e Geotérmico dos Açores (Azores Volcanic and Geothermic Observatory) on São Miguel Island.

The Gastronomy of the Azores

Gourmets delight in the many traditional recipes of Azorean cuisine. Here, fish and seafood abound, so those who appreciate a delicious fish straight from the sea will find a paradise in the Azores.


Grilled, in bouillabaisses or soups, fish is cooked in a variety of ways. But make sure you taste tuna which, in these waters, has a pink hue and a soft flavour and texture, is slightly salty and is still caught by hook and line. Or octopus which is mostly appreciated stewed in aromatic wine. The Azores have seafood that is not found anywhere else, such as limpets, barnacles and locust lobsters, a kind of tender and tasty lobster which is almost a sin not to try.


As for meat, there are some typical Azorean dishes, such as cozido das Furnas, unique for being cooked under the ground, harnessing the heat that the earth retains in that part of the Island of S. Miguel. At the right time, you can watch the preparation of the meal by the lagoon. On the Island of Terceira, the focus is on alcatra (fish or beef casserole), well-seasoned as tradition demands, and on the other islands there are several variations on the recipe for yam with sausage.


The bolo lêvedo (leavened cake) from Furnas is also very popular, and goes well with any meal, by itself or with butter or jam. Or with Azores honey, a Protected Designation of Origin product, owing its high quality to the diversity and richness of the flora.


Amongst desserts, the pineapple has pride of place with its bittersweet taste and very pleasant aroma, and the sweets, of course. Sweet bread, Santa Maria cavacas (sugar-coated biscuits), Vila Franca do Campo queijadas (cheese cakes), donas-amélias (honey cupcakes) and sugar-paste cakes from Terceira, Faial Fofas (fennel-based pastries stuffed with cream), Graciosa queijadas, covilhetes de leite (custard tarts)… it’s almost impossible to list them all. What they share is quality and the affection devoted to their making.


Naturally, given the wide range and tradition of dairy production in the Azores, the islands manufacture various milk products, with a special focus on cheese. The most famous is São Jorge. A whole cheese weighs 8 to 12 kilos, and has a strong character, helped by its spicy flavor. It is made from raw cow’s milk and salt, is yellowish in colour and has a hard or semi-hard consistency, according to how many months it has matured. São Miguel boasts a variety of cheeses, all of different textures and flavours. Graciosa cheese is spicy, with a yellowish colour and a brittle texture. Pico produces a creamy, soft cheese, dense in texture. From Corvo, you get a cheese with a very active flavour, and a semi-fatty, semi-hard consistency. Terceira cheeses are buttery, fresh and mature. And the popular Flamengo comes from Faial.


However, you cannot taste these specialties without the regional wines. Although the verdelho wine is the most well-known, there are others, like the reds and whites from Pico, Santa Maria and Terceira, to accompany your meal. On the latter island, vineyards are predominant at Biscoitos, where you can visit the local museum. There are also passion fruit and pineapple liqueurs to finish off your meal.


Being a land of great religious traditions, the Azores offer a special bill of fare associated with the Holy Spirit festivities. This includes Holy Spirit soup, cozido, alcatra, table bread, unkneaded bread, and sweet bread accompanied by aromatic wine.


The Island of São Miguel is the only tea-producing place in Europe. Plantations have existed on the island since the 19th century, and tea processing has remained unchanged for over two centuries, making it an ecological product, free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Green tea from the Azores is the most popular, although black tea is also produced in different varieties. A good suggestion to end you meal or start your day.

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